herald

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Teen soccer player who broke boy's jaw must pay him €3,000

Graham Caswell (23) was fined €200 and banned from driving for four years. (stock photo)
Graham Caswell (23) was fined €200 and banned from driving for four years. (stock photo)

A young soccer player assaulted an opponent and broke his jaw during a secondary school soccer match.

The then 15-year-old had his case struck out by a judge after he agreed to pay the injured party €3,000 in the next nine months.

The teenager had admitted before Drogheda District Court to seriously assaulting a 16-year-old boy during a soccer match.

The assault took place during the game on the grounds of Drogheda Grammar School on October 4, 2015.

The court heard that punches had been swung at the defendant in an off-the-ball incident during the match.

This happened before the serious assault.

"The person who swung punches at the defendant during the off-the-ball incident was sent off," defence barrister Sarah Jane Judge told the court.

Later in the game, further punches were swung by several players and the defendant's fist connected with the injured party's jaw.

The defendant had been offered a job, but it would be dependant on the outcome of the case, the court heard.

Treatment

Two medical reports were handed in to court from the Emergency Department at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and St James's Hospital where the injured party attended for treatment.

Judge John Coughlan remarked that he must have dealt with 50 of these cases all over the country.

"I almost played professional football myself. I am an expert on this and I know an assault conviction will affect his career," said Judge Coughlan.

"People get very over-wrought playing football."

He asked Ms Judge and the injured party's solicitor, Doher- ty Walsh, to see if they could come up with an agreement.

Later, during the hearing, Ms Judge informed Judge Coughlan there had been a "positive outcome."

"The defendant has agreed to come up with €3,000 by way of compensation to be paid in three payments over the next nine months," said Ms Judge.

On hearing of the agreement, Judge Coughlan said: "I am very pleased over that."

The judge struck the case out, leaving the defendant without a conviction.

The court heard that the State had liberty to re-enter the matter if the payments were not made within the agreed nine months.

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